Uccelliera is an estate winery in Località Uccelliera in Castelnuovo dell’Abate in south-eastern Montalcino in Tuscany, Italy. Its main wines are Rosso di Montalcino DOC and Brunello di Montalcino DOCG.
Owner: Andrea Cortonesi, an only son who was born in Castelnuovo dell’Abate to a farming family, purchased the estate in 1986. He says he is a farmer by personal choice and points out he planted vines before the onset of Brunello’s rise to global stardom. Records of the estate date to 13th-century. In 2006 he created another wine called Voliero (see below), whilst also running Il Casato, his restaurant in Siena.
The name: Uccelliera, meaning aviary or bird cage in Italian, probably dates back to the Middle Ages when falcons where raised in this specific area. Andrea Cortonesi also makes wine under the Voliero label.
Staff: Contact: Agnes Koch (Swiss-German). Met her at Benvenuto Brunello 2014.
Vineyards: 6.5 hectares of vineyards in Castelnuovo dell’Abate, near Ciacci Piccolomini’s Vigna di Pianrosso vineyard (about 150 metres above sea level), and
. Different exposures. Mainly Sangiovese with a micro Cabernet and Merlot vineyard. Depending on the age of the vines, vineyard density is 3,000-5,000 plants per hectare. The vineyards are tilled rather than weedkilled. Quarries that yielded the alabaster (onyx) for the Abbey of Sant’Antimo which borders the estate.
Other crops: 0.5ha olive grove.
Winery: Underground cellars (both old and modern). Constant and natural temperature. Stainless steel for fermentatio. Aging in French and Slavonian oak (20–40hl).
Rapace, IGT Toscana Rosso: Rapace means bird of prey. 70% Sangiovese, 10% Cabernet Sauvignon and 20% Merlot. Oaked. 8,000-10,000 bottles.
Rosso di Montalcino DOC, Uccelliera: Sangiovese farmed as being for Rosso rathe rather than for Brunello. 8 months in French and Slavonian oak. | 2006 Clean black fruit, smooth tannins, bit of oak, deep colour but not from extractive winemaking, and very definitely ripe Cabernet Sauvignon when tasted in Viale Piave 6, Saturday evening 23 August 2008. 2012 22,500 bottles. Looks and smells primary and is a bit simple and green (Anteprima 2014). | 2013 21,000 bottles. Sweet fruit (Anteprima 2015). | 2014 Nice fluid fruit, bit dry with the vanilla oak, bright cherry fruit, fluid, simple (Anteprima 2016).
Rosso di Montalcino DOCG, Voliero: 2018 5,200 bottles.
Brunello di Montalcino DOCG, Uccelliera: 2000 Elegant clean fruit in a zippy fresh style (Anteprima 2005). | 2007 Bottled. | 2009 18,000 bottles. Rich sweet bramble (Anteprima 2014). | 2009 15%. L13/AC1. Nice rich cedar nose. Ripe fruit and vanilla, well-made warming crowd-pleaser at the Consorzio Tues 27th May 2014 with Ian d’Agata and others. | 2010 26,000 bottles. Sweet fruit, moreish and savoury, balanced, nice and bright (Anteprima 2015). | 2011 Very juicy, then a bbit dry due to new oak, almost coconut and acetone, mid-weight crowdpleaser (Anteprima 2016). | 2012 Aged in a mix of Slavonian botti and smaller French oak. Savoury, ripe, intense but not weighty, sweet faded raspberries, well made trad/modern hybrid (Anteprima 2017).
Brunello di Montalcino DOCG, Voliero: 2006 From Canalicchio. | 2007 From Canalicchio. | 2008 From Canalicchio. | 2009 No longer from Canalicchio. 18,000 bottles. | 2014 Not made. | 2015 7,866 bottles.
Brunello di Montalcino DOCG Riserva, Uccelliera: On 02nd Oct 2014 Andrea Cortonesi told me by ‘phone that until 2008 the Riserva came from vines near the azienda and from his highest vines planted in 1975 at 350 metres, and in 1989 at 250 metres. From 2008 grapes were added from another vineyard at 150 metres. | 1997 Bottled. | 1998 Bottled. | 1999 Bottled. | 2001 Bottled. | 2003 Bottled. | 2004 Bottled. | 2005 Bottled. | 2006 Bottled. | 2007 Bottled. | 2008 5,200 bottles. Aged in Slavonian botti and French barrels and tonneaux. Bit baked, sweet middle, sweet end with vanilla topping, Ok wine from overwrought grapes (Anteprima 2014). | 2009 Bottled. | 2010 Youthful, some freshness to the tannin and very new oaky (Anteprima 2016). | 2011 Bottled. | 2012 Bottled. | 2013 Not made. | 2015 Bottled.
Fraz. Castelnuovo dell’Abate, I-53024 Montalcino (SI), Italy